Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is set to present the Union Budget 2023-24 on Wednesday, February 1, her fifth and last full budget of the government before the 2024 general election. There are expectations from various sectors, apart from private demand for tax relief. As the 2023 Budget is just around the corner, here are the key things to look out for in the Budget:
Income tax-related notices
An income tax announcement is one of the things that gets a lot of scrutiny in the budget because it affects people and the government’s coffers in a big way. It is expected that the government can relieve individual taxpayers by increasing the limits on tax exemptions or deductions. There are also demands for increasing the deduction limit under Section 80C in the Union Budget 2023-23, compared to Rs 1.5 lakh currently.
The budget deficit is one of the important metrics that markets and policymakers should follow. It shows the health of public finances and its reliance on borrowings. According to the latest data available, India’s budget deficit in April-November 2022 was Rs 9.78 lakh crore, or 58.9 per cent of the full fiscal year target. In the same period last year, the deficit was 46.2 percent of the target for the full fiscal year 2022. The budget deficit is the difference between government spending and revenue.
The budgeted divestment target for the current financial year 2022-23 is Rs 65,000 crore. Out of this, the government has so far raised about Rs 31,000 crore from the sale of its shares in the central government corporations. The government has consistently failed to meet its budget target for the past four years. In the Union Budget 2021-22, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had previously set the divestment target at Rs 1.75 lakh crore which was later revised to Rs 78,000 crore. However, the 2021-22 cleanup was just Rs 13,531 crore.
India’s mega IPO, LIC IPO, took place in the current financial year. Now there is an imminent privatization of two state-owned banks and a general insurance company.
In the previous 2022 budget, capital spending was boosted to support the pandemic-hit economy. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman could unveil major spending plans to attract private investment for the financial year 2023-24, according to reports. The government is expected to proceed with its plan to ramp up capital spending in the upcoming 2023-2024 budget, with a special focus on state spending on capital goods.
The Union budget could announce a special fund or scheme for millet as India prepares to lead the celebration of the 2023 millet international year and promote the cultivation and consumption of dietary grains. The government sponsored the proposal for the International Year of Millet (IYM) 2023, which was accepted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
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